I finally got around to watching the film ‘Wonder’. My son read it as a grade 6 text – an opportunity for young people to ‘walk in another’s shoes.’ It was a lovely film, based on a true story, with an important message about empathy.
The face to face bullying portrayed in the film was was brutal. Anyone who has been at the end of a verbal attack knows how gut wrenching it is. Add to that online bullying – the type of bullying that follows you home – and young people, even those with the strongest self esteem, can be crushed.
I’m not sure that it helps but there are many successful people who didn’t have the picture perfect start to life.
Here’s a few of them…
Thomas Edison, who invented the light globe was told by his teachers that he was “too stupid to learn anything.” He was fired from his first two jobs for being “non-productive.”
On his invention he said “I did not fail. My invention just took 1000 steps.
Richard Branson was dyslexic and became bored at school. He dropped out of school at 16 to start a magazine – it lost money so he started a record label to fund it. His mantra (and name of one of his books) “Screw It, Let’s Do It.”
Winston Churchill repeated a grade during elementary school and was placed in the lowest division of the lowest class in high school. He twice failed the entrance exam to the Royal Military Academy. He was defeated in his first effort to serve in Parliament. He became Prime Minister at the age of 62.
Michael Jordan cried when he was kicked out of his high school team. Became one of the greatest of athletes of all time.
Oprah Winfrey had a terrible childhood of poverty and abuse. Demoted from her TV anchor job for ‘not being fit for television’. Her show became the highest-rated television program of its kind in history and she been ranked as one of the most influential women in the world. She said “I don’t believe in failure. It is not failure if you enjoyed the process”.
Johnny Cash grew up in a poor farming family singing in the fields with the workers. His mother saved to get him singing lesson but the teacher told him to never deviate from his natural voice. He had a number of successful bands and hits, hosted his own variety show and won two Grammy award.
In high school Robin Williams was voted least likely to succeed. He was discovered in a nightclub for a role in an episode of Happy Days which resulted in the spin-off series Mork and Mindy. As well as comedy he was a successful dramatic actor achieved an academy award and many nominations.
He did not speak until he was 4-years-old and did not read until he was 7. His parents thought he was “subnormal,” and one of his teachers described him as “mentally slow, unsociable, and adrift forever in foolish dreams.” Yet Albert Einstein developed the theory of relativity and won a Nobel prize.
Never let anyone’s opinion of what you can do get in the way of what you want to do.
I would love to hear your story.